Replacement refrigerants or alternative refrigerants enter into consideration when a plant is nearing its obsolescence, but the transition to agents with a lower GWP value must also be made within the time limits laid down in the applicable legislation. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC, developed countries must reduce their greenhouse emissions by 80–95% from the 1990 level by 2050 in order to mitigate global warming. The EU has decided on its own emission reduction plan with regard to fluorinated greenhouse gases. The aim of the EU F-gas Regulation is to protect the environment by reducing the emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases.
- reduction of gas emission volumes to 21% between 2015 and 2030
- gas quotas and use reporting obligation for producers
- incremental usage restrictions on refrigerants with a GWP of > 2,500 as of 2020
- tightened leak inspection regulations as of 2016
- quotas for equipment from outside the EU
F-gas Regulation (EU 517/2014): As of 1 January 2020, the use of HFC refrigerants with a GWP of > 2,500 will be prohibited in professional refrigeration equipment and new installations. Use is prohibited in the service and maintenance of refrigeration equipment where the charge size is ≥ 40 t of CO2 equivalent. In practice, what this means for R404A, for example, is that only limited maintenance use is permitted, and even that no further than up to 1 January 2030. For R404A, a refrigerant charge of 10.2 kg corresponds to this equivalent limit. The exception to this is F-gas that has been recovered, recycled or reclaimed, which may be used for maintenance until 1 January 2030. The maintenance restriction only applies to refrigeration equipment, not air condition systems or heat pumps, for example.
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Read about AHRI Evaluation Program:
AHRI Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program